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The Treasure of the Spanish Civil War at Sant Jordi NYC Festival

As part of this year’s (virtual) Sant Jordi NYC, an annual festival celebrating Catalan culture, Christopher Winks and Donald Nicholson-Smith, translator of Sergio Pey’s The Treasure of the Spanish Civil War, spoke about translating Pey, the significance of his work, and Catalonia’s role in the Spanish Civil War. Skip to roughly 5:43:40 to have a listen.

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Love is a National Book Award Finalist!

We’re delighted to announce that Hanne Ørstavik’s novel Love has been named a Finalist for the National Book Awards! Love joins a longlist of five books in the new Translated Literature category, which was inaugurated this year. The Finalist status honors Hanne Ørstavik as well as translator Martin Aitken, who according to the National Book Foundation website, “has done a beautiful job of capturing the raw power, rhythms, and electricity of Ørstavik’s prose.”

Hanne and Martin will both attend the Award Ceremony in New York on November 14, where the winners of the National Book Award for 2018 will be announced. You can celebrate with us by attending the National Book Award Finalist Reading at the New School in New York, where Hanne and Martin will each read a short excerpt from the book. If you can’t make it, you can tune into the live stream of the event—keep an eye on the website of the National Book Awards for more information.

Our hearty congratulations to Hanne and Martin for this achievement! If you haven’t read it yet, you can order your copy of Love on our website.

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Distant Light shortlisted for International Dublin Literary Award

We’re delighted to share the news that Distant Light by Antonio Moresco, translated by Richard Dixon, has been shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award!

“Despite its fable-like structure and brevity, Moresco has Kafka’s power to unnerve, and Walser’s genial strangeness. Something like a supernatural modernist story, Distant Light’s real territory is dreams, where readers may find the book’s imagery still lingering.”— Publishers Weekly

The International Dublin Literary Award is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English. To see the full shortlist, click here.

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Words Without Borders to Honor Jill Schoolman with Ottaway Award



New York City, New York, March 14, 2017—Jill Schoolman, founder and publisher of Archipelago Books, will be the recipient of the 2017 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature, Words Without Borders announced today.

Throughout her career as an editor and publisher, Schoolman has been a leading voice for the promotion of international literature. In 2003, she founded Archipelago Books with the mission to publish essential foreign-language texts in outstanding English translations. The list of international writers she has published includes such luminaries as Karl Ove Knausgaard, Elias Khoury, Scholastique Mukasonga, Miljenko Jergovic, Julio Cortázar, Antonio Tabucchi, Magdalena Tulli, and Wiesław Myśliwski.

“As physical and political borders close in around us, Jill Schoolman’s Archipelago Books offers a safe harbor to literary talent from around the world, infusing our bookshelves with vital and original work in translation,” said Words Without Borders Board Chair Samantha Schnee. “We are thrilled to celebrate her heroic efforts with this year’s Ottaway Award.”

The Ottaway Award will be presented to Ms. Schoolman at the annual Words Without Borders gala on November 1, 2017, in New York City.

Named in honor of the first chair of Words Without Borders, James H. Ottaway, Jr., the annual award recognizes an individual whose work and activism have supported WWB’s mission of promoting cultural understanding through the publication and promotion of international literature. Past awardees include the renowned editor Drenka Willen, the late editor and translator Carol Brown Janeway, and accomplished publishers Sara Bershtel and Barbara Epler.

The 2017 Words Without Borders gala will be held at Tribeca Three Sixty in New York City on November 1, 2017. For more information about the event or to sponsor a table, please contact

Words Without Borders
Founded in 2003, Words Without Borders is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering global understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of the finest contemporary international literature. To date WWB has published over 2,200 pieces of literature by writers from 132 countries, translated from 112 languages. Our publications and programs open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages. We seek to connect international literary writers to the general public, to students and educators, and to print and other media and to serve as a primary online location for a global literary conversation.

For additional information, please contact:
Contact: Savannah Whiting, Communications Coordinator
Organization Name: Words Without Borders
Telephone Number: (603) 630-7533
Email Address:
Website Address:
Twitter: @wwborders

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Elizabeth Harris wins the National Translation Award!

Congratulations to Elizabeth Harris, winner of the NTA in Prose for her brilliant translation of Tristano Dies: A Life by Antonio Tabucchi!

Elizabeth Harris has translated fiction by Italian authors like Mario Rigoni Stern, Giulio Mozzi, and Domenico Starnone. Her translations appear in numerous literary journals and in anthologies. Her translated books include Mario Rigoni Stern’s novel Giacomo’s Seasons (Autumn Hill Books) and Giulio Mozzi’s story collection This Is the Garden (Open Letter Books). For Antonio Tabucchi’s Tristano Dies, she previously received a 2013 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant. She teaches creative writing at the University of North Dakota.



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Elias Khoury wins prestigious Mahmoud Darwish Award for Creativity 2016, donates his $25,000 award to Birzeit University

Elias Khoury Donates Award to Birzeit University


Khoury was cited both for his large and diverse literary output and for his attention to Palestine, which has been a cornerstone of his writing and activism.

University president Abdel Latif Abu Hijleh said, according to WAFA, “Elias Khoury has been a long-standing supporter of the Palestinian cause. He is a man of great thought who has made tremendous literary contributions to the Palestinian liberation struggle.”

Khoury is a Lebanese novelist, playwright, critic and a prominent public intellectual, who has published ten novels, which have been translated into several foreign languages, as well as several works of literary criticism.

He has written three plays and served as editor of Al-Mulhaq, the weekly cultural supplement of the Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Nahar between 1993 and 2009.

Khoury currently teaches literature at New York University and is co-editor of the Majallat al-Dirasat al-Filastiniyya, published by the Institute of Palestine Studies.

Abu Hijleh said, “Khoury’s generous gift is just one more example of his leadership in the educational and intellectual arenas, and devotion to the Palestinian cause.”

The Mahmoud Darwish Awards were announced in Jordan, on the anniversary of the poet’s birth, and awarded to – in addition to Khoury – Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan and American novelist Alice Walker. Each prizewinner was awarded $25,000.

Zaqtan was awarded this prize for his great knowledge of poetic tradition and his modernism, while Walker won for both her novels (The Color Purple in particular) and her anti-racism activism.

Faisal Darraj led the judging committee, which consisted of other members, namely Egyptian writers Ibrahim Abdel Maguid, Sa’eed Kafrawi, and Amani Fuad, Jordanian writers Hisham Bustani, Basma al-Nsour, and Jamal Naji, Lebanese novelist Jabbour Douaihy, Mahmoud’s brother Zaki Darwish, Palestinian writer Akram Musallam, and the Iraqi short-story writer Luay Hamza Abbas.